Studies abroad opened up horizons

Ernestas Klevas is a young Lithuanian guy who decided to combine two of his greatest passions – travel and tea tasting.klevas_Nepal_business

When Ernestas was studying for his master degree in public health in Denmark five years ago, he did not expect that the studies abroad will revolutionize his life.

“I have chosen this country because of the free and high-quality education, which was provided in English. Moreover, I got a chance to study in Australia as an exchange programme student and returned to Denmark for the defence of my master thesis” – he said.

As a student he has specialized in the global health. He wanted to learn more about the problems of the third world. Ernestas has travelled in the different Asian countries and tried to understand the current situation for more than half year.

During this time Ernestas has met a number of people working in tea, coffee and banana plantations. When young man has found out how much money these people earn, he was sincerely surprised by the poor salaries and low purchase prices of tea. As a result, Klevas was inspired to establish a socially responsible business, which supports the small farmers and buys tea directly from them.

Meeting with local residents gave an idea for business

During the data collection for master thesis in Nepal, Klevas got acquainted with one local tea grower. He was impressed by Himalayan nature and decided to stay there for a few days. But thklevas_tea_Nepalese days turned into a week. Ernestas observed the situation how farmers and tea plantation’ workers were living. Physical and technological remoteness of farmers obstruct their ability export its production directly. Tea growers are exploited by the local resellers, though they try their best to survive with the existing conditions. According to Ernestas, that visit was the beginning of his business.klevas_travel_Nepal

After a travel to Nepal, Klevas decided to try his luck as entrepreneur. He perceived a high quality of Nepal tea and saw a potential demand of such product. After doing some background research, young entrepreneur observed that this tea has not received world recognition yet. It was a second reason that encouraged him to establish a company. “I want to show that Nepal produces high quality tea. Moreover, I want to contribute for Nepal’s tea history by adding my personal input” – founder of the company “Tealure” said.

Kklevas_tea_businesslevas do not hesitate to say that the establishment of a new business is very simple in Denmark. “So many Lithuanians create businesses in Denmark. However, establishment of business does not bring a success. I am also facing many challenges while managing this business. Apart from the fact that I am Lithuanian man, who sells Nepalese tea in Denmark, it is worth mentioning that tea market is very competitive in Denmark “- explains E.Klevas.

Although this Lithuanian entrepreneur is pleased that tea sales are growing little by little, but it is not enough for independent living. Therefore, he earns extra money by being a personal driver for Nepalese ambassador.

“It will take a lot of work and stubbornness to reach my goals and to supply tea where it should be: at the best restaurants and hotels in Scandinavia” – Klevas shared his plans.

I can pack my bags and move wherever I want at any time

The interviewer said that it is a pleasure to travel and it was easy to study in Denmark: “It has not been difficult to leave Lithuania for me. It could leave Denmark or any other country easily as well. I am not tied to the residence. I can pack my bags and move wherever I want at any time, even if it is tomorrow “- young man said openly.

klevas_tealureActually, not everyone was supporting his entrepreneurial ideas. Some relatives and friends encouraged Ernestas to find a job according to his degree and work as other classmates. However, there were also people who encouraged him to take the tea business. Ernestas shares advices with new entrepreneurs on their determination level “I suggest to consider carefully whether this activity could wake you up early in the morning as a natural caffeine”. If your answer is yes – let’s launch your dream business!

“You have to do everything with passion, enthusiasm and put a lot of serious efforts. I am very interested in tea and traveling around the world; I want to turn my hobby into money making work” –says Ernestas Klevas.

Indrė Minelgaitė, Project manager at Institute